Aspect Software knows that there is more than one facet to the problem of keeping customers happy. The company provides call center software and equipment for handling customer service requests, optimizing workforces, and offering customer self-service functionality. Clients use its products to answer customer requests, log complaints, monitor workflows, and route communications. Aspect's systems integrate e-mail, fax, phone, wireless, and Web functions into a common channel through which customers can request and receive assistance. The company's customers have included Affinity Group, Alaska Airlines, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Virgin Atlantic Airways.
Aspect counts Microsoft as its key strategic partner. The software giant made an equity investment in the company in 2008, and Aspect has since developed contact center software based on Microsoft's .NET platform. Aspect's core unified communications practice helps businesses configure Microsoft communications software, as well as its own products, to integrate various forms of communication across corporate sales and service departments.
The relationship with Microsoft also gives the company better access to Microsoft's customer base as clients for Aspect branded products, in addition to co-developed tools. The company has indicated that its focus in that regard during 2011 would be on the South American countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay, where Aspect predicts continued strong growth. In 2010 the company landed Chilean state-owned bank BancoEstado and Wal-Mart's Presto credit card business in the region.
Another component of the effort to expand internationally included the establishment of a presence in Ireland during 2010 to enable Aspect to better support clients in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The company's two facilities on the Emerald Isle focus on technical support, software production and distribution, as well as some corporate administrative duties.
To further its implementation of Microsoft technologies, Aspect acquired Quilogy in 2010. Quilogy specializes in a variety of IT services that incorporate Microsoft platforms. The acquisition also added collaboration capabilities to Aspect's unified communications portfolio.
Other acquisitions that have bolstered Aspect's product strategy have included the purchase of BlueNote Networks, a developer of communications software for contact centers. It also bought the assets of Applied Information Management, a UK-based provider of analytical performance management software. The acquisition moved Aspect into the workforce optimization field with software for reviewing and managing employee performance.
Aspect was formed in 2005 when Aspect Communications and Concerto Software combined in a deal valued at about $1 billion. – less